Serological Evidence Of Rabies Virus Infection Of Slaughter Camels (Camelus Dromedarus) Imported To Nigeria
A survey of antibodies against rabies virus was carried out in camels imported for slaughter at Maiduguri municipal abattoir in Borno State, Nigeria. Out of the 256 camel sera tested, 18 (7%) had complement-fixing antibody against rabies virus antigen. Significant difference (P<0.05) in antibody prevalence was observed between sexes of camels tested and was higher in males (8%). Although, most of the reactive sera from young camels had high titres (=1:16) significant differences in prevalence rates were not recorded between the age groups of camels tested. The presence of rabies antibody in non-vaccinated camels recorded in this study indicates that camels tested had been exposed previously to rabies virus and suffered subclinical rabies virus infection. It is therefore suggested that subclinical rabies virus infections of camels imported to Nigeria for slaughter, might have serious public health implications, especially for camel herders, butchers and meat handlers.
Keywords: Rabies, complement fixation test, dromedary camels, Nigeria
Tropical Veterinarian Vol. 23 (3 &4) 2005: pp. 78-82